I have no particular New Year’s Eve plans, other than to stay warm. My day will be spent revising My One and Only Duke, which you lovely folks won’t see on the shelves until November 2018, when the Rogues to Riches series launches.
And yet, the time of year does get me thinking about where I’ve been in the past twelve months, and where I want to be. 2017 was a year of losses for me, some of which–like those twenty pounds I won’t miss–are cause for celebration. Others, like the law office riding slowly into the sunset, are simply life moving along, and one–my dad’s passing three weeks shy of his 97th birthday–hurts like blazes.
If there’s a silver lining regarding Mom’s death in 2016 and Dad’s death earlier this year, it’s that my six siblings and their spouses and kids are terrific people, and they are all still mine to love.
2017 also saw gains. I aspire to write and publish about half a million words each year, and I met that goal with titles I’m proud of. I got back in the saddle (wheee!) something I’d been muttering about for several years, and I saw some new sights on the Number One London country house tour. I traveled too much (again), but am nowhere near ready to throw in my frequent flyer towel.
Next year, I’m slated to attend the New Zealand Romance Writers’ conference, and what the heck, I might as well pop over to Australia while I’m in the neighborhood. I’m also scheduled to attend the Historical Romance Retreat in San Diego, and I’m even considering having a Regency ballgown made for that occasion, because I missed out on playing dress-up as a kid.
And that’s probably my theme going forward: I want to play more. Being self-employed, it’s easy to fall into a work-all-the-time habit. Even when I’m traveling in the UK, I’m usually working on a manuscript, reading copy edits, or both. When I was in Northern England this year, my hotel was across from a lovely little park. On one of my down-time days (meaning working on a book instead of touring a house), I toddled over to the park to get some fresh air, because–altogether now–sitting is the new smoking.
I soon noticed that I was walking faster than anybody else in the park, barreling along, consulting the step-counter on my phone, debating how many laps around the pond I should do…. I’m sure the nice people spotted me for an over-wound Yank before I’d completed my first circuit.
I like that version of Grace–she’s productive, mostly solvent, and mostly happy–but she needs to find a lower gear sometimes, so she too can make it well past her three-score-and-ten, and write lots more happily ever afters along the way.
So how was your 2017, and what are you looking forward to in 2018? To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of the book of his or her choice.